|OCZ Agility-2 SandForce Solid State Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 30 July 2010|
Page 12 of 12
OCZ Agility 2 SSD Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Our performance rating considers how effective the 120GB OCZ Agility 2 'Extended' SSD performs in operations against direct competitor SATA storage solutions. For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-1200 at 260 MB/s read and write, while OCZ increases performance expectations to 280 MB/s read and 270 write. In our benchmark tests, the Agility 2 SSD performed at or above this rating, and often matched the Vertex 2 series. For example, the OCZ Agility 2 SSD delivered 286/277 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark SSD speed tests with Everest Disk Benchmark produced 269/258 MB/s, making this one of the fastest SATA-3GBps MLC SSD's Benchmark Reviews has ever tested. The retail OCZSSD2-2AGTE120G kit that OCZ sent for testing uses a custom 1.11 firmware release, and operational performance measured 23376 when tested with Iometer. The Agility 2 series dominates the other SSDs lacking SandForce technology, and proved that OCZ's investment into custom firmware has paid off. Enthusiasts can expect high operational speeds and functionality for demanding applications.
Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, Solid State Drives are meant to place function before fashion. Anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is already more than what's expected in terms of the appearance. OCZ has created an back-to-basics look with the black and silver label on their Agility 2 SSD series, while the black metal chassis matches the others in their product line. As solid state controllers become faster and more advanced, heat dissipation through the enclosure walls may demand that chassis designs become more beneficial than they previously needed to be.
Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to any solid state product line, and the OCZ Agility 2 series is no exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses because of their architecture and technology, but the hard metal shell adds a superfluous level of protection. If an OCZ Agility 2 SSD Series product does happen to fail during the 3-year warranty period, end-users may contact OCZ via the company website, or extensive support forums. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number (800-459-1816) for free technical support and customer service questions.
Benchmark Reviews has tested the OCZ Agility 2 SSD against many of its closest competitors, and the performance results were impressive by their own merits. In fact, the OCZ Agility 2 offered faster speeds than most other SSDs, including the Vertex 2. Operational performance tests still placed the Agility 2 very high, but not to the level of 'unlocked' 50,000 IOPS SSDs, such as the aforementioned Vertex 2. High-performance computer enthusiasts will enjoy the a noteworthy 0.15 ms response time, which assures a nearly-instant reactions when called upon. Based on the SATA-3.0 SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH processor, the OCZ Agility 2-series delivers native TRIM garbage collection (in Windows 7) and SMART support with impressive transfer speeds. More importantly, SandForce DuraClass technology adds their proprietary RAISE and DuraWrite features not available to other SSDs, and the end result is a product that could last up to five times longer with less wear on NAND flash modules due to 7% over-provisioning.
SandForce SSDs are taking the storage market by storm, has helped the OCZ Agility 2 dominate the high-performance PC hardware segment. Not only are SandForce-based Solid State Drives extremely fast, but more importantly they're capable of SLC-level operational performance I/O and NAND durability. The OCZ Agility 2 series builds from the powerful SandForce SF-1222 solid state processor, which brings innovation to the SSD industry by prolonging MLC NAND flash module lifetime and delivering RAID-like data redundancy. When one SandForce product is physically identical to another, the overall value depends on price, warranty, and customer support. If you're price shopping, a quick stroll through our other recent SandForce SF-1200 product reviews will reveal other SSD options.
As of 21 September 2010, OCZ's Agility-2 SSD series dominates every capacity with an extremely competitive price point. There are several capacities available, which are sold in standard (28% over-provision) or extended (7% over-provision) Agility 2 models:
Prices between standard and extended Agility 2 SSDs are intended to be comparable, with frequent promotions and rebates further reducing costs. Consumers must decide which is most important: less capacity with more over-provisioned NAND intended for a longer Enterprise-class lifetime, or more capacity with less over-provisioning more befitting of end-users. Since both versions offer extremely durable data storage lifetimes, and replacement/refreshment cycles generally run 3-5 years, my recommendation goes for choosing the Vertex 2 'Extended' series. Additionally, NewEgg's pricing it hard to recommend the 120GB Agility-2 we tested over the Vertex-2 of the same capacity. Until the prices get sorted out (and they change by the hour), compare products and look for the best value.
OCZ's Agility 2 SSD series has pushed bandwidth speed performance to the highest point we've seen from a 2nd-generation SATA-3GB/s drive. Delivering an exceptionally attractive operational performance (IOPS) reaching past 23K, the Agility 2 could be suited for home and small business servers. Consumers should consider the Agility-2 and Vertex-2 series identical products; except for that Agility-2 delivers 20K IOPS while Vertex-2 is good for up to 50K. Pricing will also guide consumer decisions, and there's at least one example where Vertex-2 is the better buy. Nevertheless, OCZ's Agility 2 easily outmatches previous non-SandForce multi-layer cell SSDs, and competes head-on with Enterprise-level MLC storage solutions. OCZ offers the Agility 2 in huge assortment of capacities, allowing for a storage solution at every price point. All Agility-2 kits come with a 2.5" into 3.5" converter tray, which desktop computer enthusiasts should welcome. In summary, OCZ's Agility 2 dominates nearly every capacity with extremely attractive pricing, and still keeps the three-year product warranty. For high-performance enthusiasts and hardcore gamers, the OCZ Agility 2 offers blazing fast transfer speed and excellent operational performance.
+ Delivers 23376 4K IOPS in Iometer
- Not 3rd-Generation SATA-6.0 compliant
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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